Getting Started in 2013, Part #8, ‘Davie Dog’ Short Block


Builder ‘Davie Dog’ is going to up the ante on Chas. Charlie by going for one of Dan Weseman’s new billet cranks with a Gen 2 bearing hub installed. He is going to choose to have a new gear on his crank. He is going to get a Clarks failsafe gear, installed by Clarks on a new cam, just as Chas. did. Deciding on a new Crank isn’t an impulse buy, so builders should study the information on it closely by reading the page for it on Dan’s site at the link below:

 Although I have the price info here, Dan would like builders choosing a new crank to look at the package he has put together for the cranks. The primary structural strength increase in these cranks comes from having radiuses that are very large by Corvair standards. These radius need the bearings to be inspected for fit and the connecting rods to be clearanced to match. Dan is offering to take care of both of these tasks for builders selecting a new crank for a modest charge. If you look at his webpage there is a package listed at $3,100, but that price includes bearings and connecting rods and labor. To keep with the comparative format we are using here I am going to break down Dan’s price because we want to see the comparison without involving the rods yet. The information here will provide a fairly accurate cost comparison for builders. 

Also to be noted is that the crank price of $2,450 with the new gear on is to allow the crank to be utilized in several different types of engines. In reality, Every Billet crank Dan has done has been delivered with the Gen 2 bearing hub installed. Dan pictures that almost every billet crank he delivers will go to the builder this way. Although the crank could have a Gen 1 bearing put on it, or be put in a car for that matter, I will give the price comparison at the end assuming the builder is going to have Dan install a Gen 2 hub so that it is a more direct comparison to the engine built by ‘Chas. Charlie.’

( CC stands for Clarks Corvair parts, SR stands for Summit Racing, ELS stands for Ebay Larry’s Corvair parts, and ECA stands for Ebay California Corvair parts.)


Crank group (1000)

1000-  Dan Weseman Billet crank. ( $2,250)

1001- Crank gear (new, $200, installed in crank processing)

1002- Crank gear key (Included in crank prep)

1003- Crank gear gasket (Included in crank prep)

1004- Rear keys -2-(CC-#5858, $1.50, $3)

1005- Fuel pump eccentric (used, from core engine)

1006- Spacer (used, from core engine)

1007- Bronze distributor drive gear (used, from core engine)

1008- Oil slinger (used, from core engine)

1009- Main bearings (ELS-$88)

1010- Connecting rod bearings (ELS-$59)


Cam group (1100)

1100- Cam ( CC, part 8800, $235 )

1101- Thrust washer (new installed by Clarks, $12.60)

1102- Key (CC-#5858, $1.50)

1103- ‘Fail safe’ Cam gear (CC- $94 + $25 assembly)

1104- Hydraulic lifter set -12 total- ( $2.99each, $36)

1105- Cam lubricant (comes with OT-10 cam)

1106- ZDDP oil additive (SR,$16)


Case Group (1200)

1200- Case -2 halves with studs- (used, from core engine)

1201- Main case bolts -8- (used, from core engine)

1202- Pipe plugs for oil galleries -2- (used, from core engine)


The total of  Davie Dogs engine parts above are $3,020.10. For a more effective comparison, look at the price after installing a Gen 2 5th bearing system: $4,270.10. Chas. Charlie’s engine is identical, except that it has a processed GM 8409 crank, and it comes in at $2,770.10.  This the price increase for going with a new billet crank is $1,500.

Is this a lot of money? Well, like most things, it depends on your perspective. Lets say you are going to build an absolutely magnificent Corvair with an overhauled MA-3, etc. and the total looks like $10K spent over 24 months. Deciding that you are going to build the engine around a billet crank instead is only a 15% price increase. For another comparison, my neighbor just had to buy a new crank for his 4 cylinder Lycoming. After careful shopping he found one on sale for $3,990. That’s the crank by itself. At Oshkosh I had a guy tell me that he had gone through an 0-200 bottom end from a 1959 C-150 for his homebuilt. He spent more than $5,000 on it to make it right. He said to me that he liked it more than a ‘car’ engine because he “didn’t want to use old stuff and he wanted an engine with big bearings,” Because I am a jackass at heart, I took the time to explain that his 1959 crank is older than any Corvair crank ever made and the main bearings on an O-200 are smaller in diameter than those in a Corvair. I restrained myself from pointing out that his top end will likely cost another $4K, his mags and carb overhaul another $3K. Maybe I am maturing and gaining a sensitive side….

Again, if any builder would like to have this assembled as a running start, we are glad to pick up the parts at The Weseman’s and take care of it for a modest charge. -ww

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